Olympic Games Race Day

Today, of course, would have been one of the best sailing days of the last two months. 18-25 knots of breeze from the southwest. Nice big waves. We checked over the boat and just relaxed today. Phil spent the afternoon with his family. I am watching the Olympic on TV between naps and eating everything around the house.

Here is a few of the emails I have received in the last 24 hours. I share them with you because I think they are all great pieces of writing and deserve to be seen. I hope my indulgence does not upset any of the authors.

Hey Paul, Anything can happen out there, so keep a positive attitude and go enjoy sailing in the Olympics – good things happen when you’re having fun.

Good luck, Bruce Nelson

Paul & Phil,

For what it’s worth, your predicament before the last race reminds me of mine in Naples in 1960. To gain the Bronze we had to win the race and Agostino Straulino and his crew Carlo Rolandi, from Ialy, had to finish fifth or worse. So Buck Halperin (my crew) and I realized our chances were slim and we were pretty depressed, but we sucked it up and blew everyone away in the last race and Straulino finished somewhere about 7th. So-o-o-o, my dear Paul and Phil, FIRE ONE!!!!!!

I think it would be nice to have more than one thing in common with Paul, that is when he and his crew hauled me out of the water at the dock after the second race in Sardinia in 1989. I had won the race but then promply fell in the water trying to tie up my boat at the dock.

All the best,

Bill Parks

Hi Paul/Phil

Peter Stoneberg was kind enough to pass on your emails from Athens which has inspired me to send you this.

I have been following your Olympic programme with great interest . You have both worked very hard too win the US berth and the support you are receiving from family and friends reflects that effort.

I have been taping away thinking of something inspirational to say but in your case its difficult to better the comments from your daughter.

My only thoughts are that in reading your emails you are being pretty tough on yourself and that perhaps now is the time to appreciate the occasion get your heads out of the boat and let it rip,you have already won a medal in the minds of many.

Kind Regards Geoff Stagg


About 2 years ago I attended a talk in our yacht club given by the Womens 470 Sydney Gold Medallists [Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell]. They were accompanied by their coach [Ukranian, Victor Kovalenko] who didn’t say much except this-

On a race course there are 3 types of sailors-

1. Those who are sailing

2. Those who are racing

3. Those who are fighting

The fighters win!

Keep on fighting Paul


John O’Driscoll

[One Design Sailor from the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dublin, Ireland]

You can do it Paul. Let er rip, mate!—Peter Harken

dear paul and phil,

a medal is within your grasp – you can totally do this, dont let go! we are following every race, cheering and praying. we couldnt be behind you more. YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES!

– lynne, sydney and sophia florence rey

p.s. we have a colossal crush on your sailing coach…


tieni duro che siete i pi